|Born||10 November 1721
Annan, Dumfries and Galloway
|Died||7 July 1791 (aged 69)
He was born near Annan, Dumfries and Galloway, of humble parentage, and lost his sight as a result of smallpox when six months old. He began to write poetry at the age of 12, and studied for the Church. He was appointed Minister of Kirkcudbright, but was objected to by the parishioners on account of his blindness, and gave up the presentation on receiving an annuity.
He then retired to Edinburgh, where he became a tutor. He published some miscellaneous poems, which are now forgotten, and is chiefly remembered for having written a letter to Robert Burns, which had the effect of dissuading him from going to the West Indies, indirectly saving his life since the ship sank on the voyage. He was made D.D. in 1767 from the University of Aberdeen (Marischal College).
He died at his home in Chapel Street, Edinburgh, and was buried across the way in the churchyard of St Cuthbert's Chapel of Ease.
The building in which he lived (at the corner Chapel Street and West Nicolson) now contains two pubs: Peartree House and The Blind Poet (the walls of which are decorated with a number of Blacklock's poems).
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Cousin, John William (1910). A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London: J. M. Dent & Sons. Wikisource
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Blacklock, Thomas.|
Electronic Scotland. "Significant Scots - Thomas Blacklock". Retrieved 30 January 2007.
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